A dog who was viciously set on fire by a youth has healed enough to finally be able to see again.
Buddy the dog was found with his face severely burned and an electrical cord wrapped around his neck. He was hobbling around in agony on a road in Senotobia, Mississippi back in April of 2021. For the past four months Buddy has had his head covered in bandages, unable to see.
The Tunica Humane Society rescued Buddy and they have been working with the Mississippi State Veterinary Hospital, who has been treating Buddy’s wounds. Buddy was facing life-threatening injuries when he first arrived at the vet hospital. The dog suffered 3rd and 4th degree burns over most of his face. He has required multiple skin grafts for the deep wounds.
Throughout the healing process Buddy’s face needed to be extensively bandaged.
“Without the bandages, Buddy would be pawing and rubbing his face and eyes to get some relief,” Sandy Williams, Founder and Director of Tunica Humane Society explained. “That could cause devastating damage to all the good that has been done so far. So for now, Buddy’s face has to remain covered.”
So it’s no wonder that The Tunica Humane Society was excited to announce the removal of Buddy’s bandages in August, four months after his rescue.
“The new skin is very pink,” wrote Williams on Facebook. “He may never grow fur back where he had the skin grafts. We are counting the days until we can see Buddy’s whole face with or without fur. He is going to be perfect either way.”
Since having the bandages removed Buddy is enjoying games of fetch and playing with toys again. He’s also gotten a whole lot happier and is much more like the dog he was before his injuries.
Buddy lived in a neighborhood where he often roamed with his canine buddy Snoop and is said to have played with the local children and been a very loving and trusting dog.
Tunica Humane Society wrote, “It seems Buddy and Snoop visited with everyone up and down the road. Both dogs were known for being friendly and gentle, especially with kids.”
Buddy was well known and well loved in the neighborhood which makes what happened to him all the more troubling.
The Tate County Sheriff’s Office, who investigated the incident, made an alarming and troubling discovery. The person responsible for buddy’s injuries was a 12-year-old boy. The sheriff’s office announced they got a confession from the child, but because Mississippi state law prevents children younger than 12 from being criminally charged.
At the time of the announcement, Sheriff Brad Lance wrote on Facebook, “We are just as frustrated as anyone that more cannot be done through the justice system regarding the juvenile in this case…Our investigators worked hard on this case and they also are frustrated. We didn’t write the laws of our state.”
Sheriff Lance added that, “While I can tell everyone that things are being done regarding this juvenile, I am prohibited from releasing details.”
In the ensuing months, Buddy’s rescuers focussed on his recovery. He had to deal with a bad ear infection and he has to be distanced from his best friend Snoop. Snoop, it should be noted, was picked up shortly after Buddy (uninjured) and is now in foster care with Tunica Humane Society. Tunica Humane Society shared that the two dogs have been separated for Buddy’s safety while he heals.
“His friend Snoop is a young, energetic dog. He is extremely playful and even rowdy at times with other dogs. I have no doubt, these 2 dogs will be very excited to see each other again. They ran the neighborhood together. They played together daily. They love each other. But short of Buddy wearing a ‘football helmet’ to protect his fragile face, we can’t take a chance of him having a setback. He is still a very sick dog compared to Snoop. I trust Buddy’s doctor 100% to let us know when he is ready to step back into his happy life with Snoop.”
Over the past few months the doctors and caregivers have been sure to give Buddy lots of cuddles. And as his bandages got lighter and smaller, his ears and face began to emerge.
And now with the bandages off his eyes and he can see, “he is loving every minute of his new life.”
“Buddy’s whole personality has changed since seeing the light of day. He is happy and playful and walking the halls of the hospital with a great big ball in his mouth. He loves balls. He carries them around so everyone can see them,” said Williams. THS shared a video of him running around without his bandages.
Buddy still need procedures done on his eyelids, but he knows he is being well looked after. “I am sure he is feeling so much joy as he slowly gets his life back to normal,” wrote Williams on Facebook.
“We look forward to the day we can bring Buddy home to his THS family. And to all of you, that have prayed for him and supported him from the very beginning. It will be a glorious day when Buddy sees his old friend, Snoop. Snoop is waiting in the wings to welcome his constant companion back.”
Tunica Humane Society plans on taking their time in selecting a family for Buddy and Snoop.
“It is very important to us to get to know Buddy on a personal level before we make any decisions about where he will live out his life. So the plan is for him to spend some time in our care before any decisions are made about his forever family. If all goes well, we hope to adopt Buddy and Snoop out together.”
Although Tunica Humane Society is accepting applications on Buddy and Snoop together, they are reserving any final decision until they fully know what Buddy’s future medical needs might be.
“If for some reason, things don’t work out that way, I can assure you both dogs will be placed in the best possible homes and for all the right reasons,” wrote THS.
But no matter what, “A wonderful world of love awaits Buddy. And his best friend, Snoop.”
To donate to the Tunica Humane Society, visit their website.